Some interesting book titles

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by Neil Godfrey

Funny things sometimes happen browsing the web. In searching for what others were saying about a book highly recommended to me as a solid case for astrotheology (I found that the book makes no case at all — no, it’s not by any author I have reviewed on this blog before) I stumbled into a rather suspect discussion group whose moderators have made recent notorious appearances here. Along with some highly dubious titles they include some works that look like real gems:

Crucifixion: In the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross by Martin Hengel. This includes an interesting discussion of Prometheus and an ancient use of the technical term for crucifixion.

Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East by Glenn Holland. Looks like a good intro to ancient religion of the Middle/Near East.

Early Christianity and Ancient Astrology by Tim Hegedus. The discussion here on Matthew’s Magi and star — most of it readable on GoogleBooks — should put to rest the astrotheological arguments that have been raised here recently. But it won’t, of course.

Christ’s Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament. Markus Vinzent has sometimes commented here, and approaches the question from the perspective of Patristic studies. I would like to make more time to have a closer look at quite different perspective.

The Greek Language of Healing from Homer to New Testament Times, by Louise Wells. I love these sorts of background studies.

The Origins of Biblical Monotheism:Israel’s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts by Mark S. Smith. 

Inventing Jesus by Paul Gabel. Looks like another mythicist work by a dedicated nonprofessional.

Falsche Zeugen (False Witnesses) by Dr. Hermann Detering. This apparently discusses the non-Christian evidence for Jesus — Suetonius, Tacitus, and co.

I hope to be able to catch up with most of these sooner rather than later. Any comments from those who do know them already would be appreciated.

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  • RoHa
    2012-11-14 09:37:19 GMT+0000 - 09:37 | Permalink

    The link to the Markus Vinzent book is interesting. It suggests, inter alia that Marcion’s Gospel was Q. I’ve suspected before (in my totally amateur way) that Mark was derived from Marcion, so it is nice to see that at least some professsionals share my suspicions. Of course, it means that we have to rethink the dates of compostion of the Gospels, but I see no obstacle to that.

    Amazon has a strongly critical review of Detering’s Falsche Zeugen by someone called Rieble. It’s headed “Eliminierung eines Jahrhunderts, 29. Dezember 2011”.


  • 2012-11-25 01:21:09 GMT+0000 - 01:21 | Permalink

    Inventing Jesus by Paul Gabel. Looks like another mythicist work by a dedicated nonprofessional.

    None professional huh? Did you bother reading his credentials? Or just assume that he was a non professional?

    Paul Gabel is a graduate of the History Department at the University of California at Berkeley and has taught history for 33 years. He has previously published And God Created Lenin: Marxism and Religion in Russia, 1917–1929 (2005).

    You appear to make a lot of assumptions based on your hatred for mythicism/astrotheology.

    • 2012-11-25 06:01:46 GMT+0000 - 06:01 | Permalink

      I am also a history graduate at one of the world’s top 100 universities and have also taught history for over a decade. That does not make me a professional historian. My description of Paul Gabel was based on my recognition that his credentials are the same as mine. I am as much a non-professional as Paul Gabel. There is nothing wrong with being a non-professional and writing about history as a non-professional. I would define a professional historian, however, as one who has a doctorate in history and who makes a living from researching and writing for academic publications. (That excludes most theologians, by the way, who don’t know squat about how history is practiced outside their field of biblical studies and theology.)

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